Roma v Juventus: Matri eyes glory in title tussle
Alessandro Matri will hope to make his Juventus return in the crunch clash against Roma in Serie A as the champions eye what could be a decisive win.
Juve boast a nine-point lead at the summit and victory in the capital on Monday would surely make a fourth successive title inevitable.
Matri, who joined on loan from Milan in early February, won two Scudetto crowns in his previous spell and recognises the importance of Monday's encounter.
"We're having a good season," Matri told Juventus TV. "The league is very balanced, especially after all five Italian teams progressed to the Europa League last 16.
"We've currently got a good lead over Roma and on Monday we want to extend our advantage even further seeing as it's an important match."
Both sides are fresh from midweek wins in Europe, with Roma having triumphed 2-1 at Feyenoord to secure a 3-2 aggregate win and a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
Massimiliano Allegri's side were 2-1 winners over Borussia Dortmund to seize the first-leg initiative in their UEFA Champions League tie, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
Roma, like their visitors, are unbeaten on home soil in the league, but the last five sides to visit the Stadio Olimpico have come away with a share of the spoils and that has left a major dent in Rudi Garcia's title hopes.
Indeed, it has been a scramble for Roma even to get those five points on the board, having trailed in three of those matches, the other two ending goalless.
Their last top-flight defeat at home came back in May when former fans' favourite Pablo Daniel Osvaldo struck a last-minute winner for Juve.
October's meeting between the pair provided more late drama as Leonardo Bonucci's 86th-minute goal proved decisive in a 3-2 win for Juve, with both sides subsequently reduced to 10 men.
The hosts look set to be without Seydou Doumbia as he is reportedly suffering from lower back pain, with Radja Nainggolan - rested at Feyenoord - likely to deputise.
Juve saw Andrea Pirlo limp off against Dortmund and Allegri will probably turn to Roberto Pereyra in the playmaker's absence.
Pereyra, who replaced Pirlo at Juventus Stadium, is relishing the opportunity to get more game time under his belt.
He said: "I didn't think I'd be playing so much, but from day one I always said I would work hard to take my chance when it came my way.
"I'd already played as an attacking midfielder at Udinese, but I've got no problems operating in other positions either."